Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will continue to "live life to the fullest," despite the opinions of others.


BEREA, Ohio -- When it comes to taking poolside photos with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski or sitting cageside at an Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend, that's just Johnny being Johnny.

And Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has no plans on slowing down his off-the-field lifestyle anytime soon, despite outside perceptions that he is not 100 percent committed to football.

"I don't live my life according to you guys or according to what other people think of me," Manziel said following Wednesday's practice in Berea. "I'm going to live my life to the fullest and continue to be committed to this game and committed to what I need to be doing here, trying to earn my place in this locker room with these coaches, with this organization.

"If I want to go out and have some fun, and it doesn't hinder what my main goals in life are, then, I don't really care what anybody has to say."

Manziel said he was "very surprised" that the trip to Las Vegas, where he was photographed spraying champagne on a crowd of people, as well as surrounded by several bikini-clad young women is "actually a story."

"I've accomplished dreams of mine that I never thought I'd get a chance to be in this position," Manziel said. "I've been here, every day, working extremely hard. I'm coming in here trying to earn my place and do what I need to do.

"For me to get a free weekend to spend some time with friends and family of mine, just have fun and relax, get away from the grind a little bit, come back when I'm supposed to, get back to work this week, and do what I'm supposed to do, I don't really feel that's a story. It was a little bit of a break for us, and I just got to go enjoy it and relax."

While some have called into question Manziel's commitment because he flew to Las Vegas on a free weekend without football activities, his coach, Mike Pettine, and offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, where not among that group.

"We have a saying in the NFL, 'As long as it doesn't affect your job,'" Pettine said. "He's a guy that was very proactive. He let us know that he was going, and my advice to him was, 'Have fun.'

"He's done everything that we've asked. The playbook has not been an issue for him. I know a big deal was made of it. We have an expectation for all of our players outside of the building to act a certain way, and it's really a non-issue. Just like anybody else, he's a man, and we're going to treat our guys like that until they prove that they need to be treated otherwise."

Shanahan added that Manziel's weekend trip to Las Vegas "doesn't bother me at all."

"Johnny's been working as hard as anyone I've been around," Shanahan said. "He's been here all day and all night, and I've been really impressed with what Johnny's done. Good for him to get a little bit of a break, but now, he's got to realize that there's stuff to deal with in the situation he's in and people are going to judge him for it.

"I care what you do on the field. As long as you're a good person outside of here and you come in and go to work just like the rest of us do, I've got a lot of respect for Johnny in that aspect."

Pettine said he is "not going to micromanage" players when they are away from the Browns' facility because his main focus is on getting 90 guys ready for training camp.

"We talk about worrying about things that we have control over, and what gets put out there, we don't have control over," Pettine said. "He didn't do anything illegal, so, to me, it's a non-issue.

"He's in good standing here as far as his work in the playbook, and the time that he's been in the building, he's been outstanding. I know a lot of our guys got out of town, and that's the price you pay for having the reputation that he has.

"He's very much on point with his preparation. He's been outstanding in the weight room with the workout part of it, and when he comes out here, he works as hard as or harder than everybody else."

Like Pettine, Manziel's teammates are okay with his decision to take a break from football and enjoy himself over a long weekend.

"You've got to have your escapes from football," seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said. "It's the offseason. It's your chance to have fun and get a little break, so I don't think anybody has any issues with it.

"That's who he is. You can't expect him to be somebody he's not. He's a 21-year-old kid. In the offseason, I don't think anybody has any issues with it. You can be committed seven days a week and still have fun at night.

"If he was doing that the night before a game, then, there'd be an issue, but it is the offseason. You need a chance to decompress and get your mind off of football because it is a long haul. The season's going to be a long grind, so you need to relax a little bit when you get a chance."

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